Jump to content
GM Hooly

The Dice Pool Podcast - EPISODE 12 - Its a Kind of Magic (Part 1)

Recommended Posts

EPISODE 12 - It's a Kind of Magic! (Part 1)

In our biggest episode yet of The Dice Pool Podcast we are joined by GM Chris of the Order 66 Podcast to discuss everything MAGIC! In the first part of our series we will provide you with an invaluable lesson on using the Magic rules in your games and cover the basics including Magic Skills and Magic Actions, as well as discussing the rules presented in Realms of Terrinoth. We offer some suggestions on how to expand the rules in your Genesys Setting, plus answer a few listener questions pertaining to this area of the rules. So come along and join GMs Hooly, Huzz, Flano and Kaitlin for an in depth look at Magic in the Genesys Role Playing Game.

Edited by GM Hooly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I kept wanting to yell during the "Casting heal on yourself" segment. It's really a non-issue. On any spell you can use 1 advantage to heal 1 strain, this is exactly the same as casting heal on yourself. They key here isn't mechanics, it's table manners. Just as you wouldn't let someone cast augment over and over to heal strain via advantage, just have a conversation about table manners. It's a bag of rats situation.

Now you can also use mechanics to adjust it via the table on page 210 "Penalties while casting spells" Specifically the last one. Being injured and trying to heal yourself sounds like it might be difficult to concentrate to me. Then with that (or those if it is more than one) upgrade, you get a despair, there is all kinds of bad that can happen.

So while i agree, "spamming" the heal spell sounds like a big problem, it's really not just by RAW. Of course homebrew is always great, and can be good. There were several good suggestions you all threw around regarding it. Just need to find what works for the table that is playing the game.

In general though, excellent episode. I thoroughly enjoyed it even if i, respectfully, disagree'd with some points. Keep up the great work ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Wisconsen said:

I kept wanting to yell during the "Casting heal on yourself" segment. It's really a non-issue. On any spell you can use 1 advantage to heal 1 strain, this is exactly the same as casting heal on yourself. They key here isn't mechanics, it's table manners. Just as you wouldn't let someone cast augment over and over to heal strain via advantage, just have a conversation about table manners. It's a bag of rats situation.

Reflecting back on the episode now I have to agree here, letting a player spam magic is the problem, not casting Heal on yourself. In fact letting a player spam any skill check is a problem, one I have definitely heard the hosts discuss previously.It’s probably a great topic  for them to discuss in two weeks on Magic part 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Wisconsen said:

I kept wanting to yell during the "Casting heal on yourself" segment. It's really a non-issue. On any spell you can use 1 advantage to heal 1 strain, this is exactly the same as casting heal on yourself. They key here isn't mechanics, it's table manners. Just as you wouldn't let someone cast augment over and over to heal strain via advantage, just have a conversation about table manners. It's a bag of rats situation.

 

Kind of. Remember that you suffer 2 strain after the spell is cast, so you're always stuck with at least 2 strain after the casting of the spell. So spam heal all you want, you're never going to get to 0 strain. (Until the end of the encounter, of course, and then all you need is SS.png and you're at zero :p)

But you're right, any roll can heal strain when you spend V.png, so the healing thy self is a non-issue.

Edited by c__beck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey All,

Glad you are enjoying what we have suggested thus far. And if you have any gripes, let us know. And here’s why.

One of the things that we are definitely going to do at the start of the next episode, is that we are going to examine any feedback that we have from Part I and address any questions that came from the last episode.

So make your points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, c__beck said:

 

Kind of. Remember that you suffer 2 strain after the spell is cast, so you're always stuck with at least 2 strain after the casting of the spell. So spam heal all you want, you're never going to get to 0 strain. (Until the end of the encounter, of course, and then all you need is SS.png and you're at zero ?)

But you're right, any roll can heal strain when you spend V.png, so the healing thy self is a non-issue.

totally, i ment within the context of the rules ? the strain after the roll is resolved is one of the most elegant and "simple but effective" things i love about the genesys magic system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GM Hooly said:

One thing to note though as we did say, by RAW, you can heal yourself, but playtesting says that you can just go from scene to scene having everyone in the party fully heal. As a player, it’s great. As a GM. Not so much.

totally 100% agree. But it seemed a large amount of the discussion was on "is it broke to heal yourself over and over" instead of "Why would you let someone cast heal over and over to heal strain, when you wouldn't let them use X skill over and over to heal strain?".

Now i do agree, the game doesn't say you can't just cast heal over and over. In fact the game doesn't really say how long it takes to cast anything other than "1 action". As a GM i wouldn't allow a PC to cast heal over and over, the same i wouldn't allow them to use athletics to skip to the next encounter, roll the dice, and recover strain with advantages. Nor would i as a player expect it.

Which is where table manners comes in. I might not allow it as a GM nor expect it, but that is more anecdotal than anything. To that end the proper way to balance it isn't by RAW, but by RAU (Rules as Used). That social contract between the group at the table that says "I won't be an ******* if you won't". Or using the already existing mechanics such as the table on CRB 210 as i mentioned originally. Instead of bolting on homebrew restrictions and complications. to a simple and elegant system.

Of course i could always just be spouting crazy, it's been known to happen =P. As i said earlier, i loved the episode and look forward to part 2 enthusiastically ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good episode.

 

Two things I've done in my game I feel like talking about are;

 

one, is a player cursed himself, poisoning her blood so the Vampire that they were fighting couldn't feed on her. Two, a player used barrier on her self to give her blood have sunder. Basically once she takes wound, can use threats the trigger sunder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for a great episode. Im about to design or define magic for my own setting and listening to this episode helped get me thinking abit more about it before putting it down on paper. 

NB. your website podcast list is not as complete as the list in this topic. 

https://www.thedicepoolpodcast.com/podcasts/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, GM Hooly said:

One thing to note though as we did say, by RAW, you can heal yourself, but playtesting says that you can just go from scene to scene having everyone in the party fully heal. As a player, it’s great. As a GM. Not so much.

It would be great to hear you guys discuss other methods GM’s can use to prevent Skill Check Spamming. It’s a problem a lot of GM’s face, and not just in this system, so to have a discussion that people can be directed to when they need help could be a great contribution to the community.

Off the top of my head there’s a number of obvious methods;

narrative time pressures or limits

compounding risks (eventually that Challenge die will roll a Despair) 

narrative social stigma (npc’s think less of you if you repeatedly do the same thing over and over)

then finally, and perhaps most importantly, the social contract that the players all agree upon. Breaking the game by spamming Mechanics until you have the perfect gear is not fun, spamming Heal after every encounter is also incredibly boring, Spamming a Knowledge Check until you succeed and learn the information you want is just a wast of everyone’s time.

In the case of Heal you shouldn’t even be using the chart outside combat. The other section of Magic outlines what Heal does in narrative situations, andbin tgat case the GM has full control over what the difficulty of a check is. When a player declares “I want to cast heal on the entire group and get us all fully fit again” then the GM should be saying that’s beyond the scope of what the pc is capable of without there being significant xp investment in equipment, talents and skills to make it possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the show fell into a bit of a trap with Magic.  On the one hand, all the hosts and guest commended the system for having an incredibly open magic system.  Then, immediately upon latching onto the Wall of Fire example that often comes up, one host lamented that people need to stop trying to duplicate D&D spells, and if a group tries to add spell types to round out their vision of magic, they're likely doing so because they don't fully understand the system.

But folks aren't really asking how they can duplicate d20.  They're asking how their character can cast wall of fire because wall of fire is pretty damned useful and fairly widespread across fantasy setting sources.  So is Teleport, etc.  And there is nothing obvious in the rules as written to advise you how to handle either.  That's not a strength of the rules; that's ambiguity.  It would have been much appeciated to have a section for how to gauge difficulty if the caster is using a standard magic trope and there's no obvious way to model it.

But instead, when the suggestion is made that a divine caster can banish a summoned demon, the discussion turned quickly to the pedantic "divine casters can't dispel" so we're left figuring out a creative workaround, and we're cautioned against allowing exceptions because the system's balanced best as is or it makes one spell skill too strong.

Another example of useful is being able to heal yourself if you're a magic healer.  To me this was so obvious that PC's would do this, that I didn't even consider the point of distinction that one of the hosts mentioned: by the book, it seems that you can't actually heal yourself at all, but rather only another target with whom you're engaged.  So are we supposed to disregard probably every other RPG that features magic healing that (as far as I know) doesn't penalize self-casting, or do we actually read the rules as written to indicate that a healing spell works how it works inclusive of the caster?  Or do we treat magic self-heals as being as difficult as self-surgery so the difficulty jumps two steps (and therefore the chance to fail or at least get negligible success becomes very real).  In the end, the rules could certainly be clearer. 

Magic causes far more discussion on this board than any other aspect of the game.  I think the fact that FFG attempted a liberating sort of open-ended magic on the one hand, similar to how an even less crunchy system like FATE would do it (magic is generally very wide open there) and on the other tried to provide some quantification for discrete spell effects, we're left with a system that isn't quite sure if it wants to be crunchy or if it wants to be open.

Full disclosure: I really like the magic system and its interaction with the narrative dice.  I'll use it largely as is, but my plan is to keep things a bit faster and looser than RAW if it seems that what the caster is attempting is something that type of magic should be able to do traditionally, regardless of whether or not that skill has that type.

Edited by Dragonshadow
clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another great episode.  I do agree with Mountainshadow that too much time was spent trying to convince listeners this wasn’t d20.

 

I would love a good discussion about breaking concentration,  by the book, concentration could be broken by spending one threat (since it’s a maneuver).

“The active character loses the benefits of a prior maneuver (such as from taking cover or assuming a guarded stance) until they perform the maneuver again”

That doesn’t seem quite right to me - it seems a bit too easy to lose concentration - which is why I would love to hear a discussion about it on the podcast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard mentioned in the podcast that Night's Edge uses a slightly altered version of the magic system. It would be great to hear the details. Also, I'm curious how much play testing the Dice Pool GMs have given the magic system as it's presented in the Core.

Shortly after the release of the Genesys Core I started what was going to be a short adventure (now ongoing campaign) to kick the tires of the magic system. It did seem to me that there were a few categories of spell type that were missing from a classic fantasy setting, and I added three new magic actions inspired by this Community post, namely Divination, Enchantment, and Illusion.

Could these spell types have fit into the existing magic actions? Sure, the system is fluid enough to allow improvisation. But in each case it really did feel as though these spell types deserved their own table of spell modifications. 

In the end, that is why Genesys is a great tool kit. There is lots of flexibility and room for improvisation, but with enough crunch to allow GMs to create their home brew within an existing framework of rules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, O the Owl said:

Oh, and how are GMs handling summoned creatures? If a player wants to summon a fire elemental, for instance, what should the stats be?

Yeah - This one is a big one for me. I currently have a setting that is focused around Mages being able to pull through entities from the Planes (Kinda like the demon summoning from the old Elric games in BRP) and a bit of guidance on Summoning rules would be a great help for me too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Myrrik said:

Yeah - This one is a big one for me. I currently have a setting that is focused around Mages being able to pull through entities from the Planes (Kinda like the demon summoning from the old Elric games in BRP) and a bit of guidance on Summoning rules would be a great help for me too.

demon summoning, Pokemon, the villain in Big Hero 6 (well, maybe in that case it's constructs, but really really elaborate ones akin to a Green Lantern ring construct).  A followup question I would have is what happens when you stop concentrating?  Does the beastie disappear or just your control over it?  The answer varies by setting, but it's an interesting topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the heated topic of self-Healing, and more generally spam Healing, I think it really comes down to table etiquette. I've set the limit between encounters at one Heal, per character, per caster and have never had a complaint. But as always, every table is different.

There is a RAW remedy, however. The chart for spending threat and despair on magic skill checks in the Genesys Core offers some great suggestions. Particularly, every spellcaster and magic attuned creature within a day's travel becoming aware of the caster (3 threat or a despair). If spam-Healing were an issue at my table, I would emphasise this as a real risk. Then, I would be quite willing to flip a story point (or two) to trigger the effect after a caster's 4th or 5th between-encounters Heal. Enter two minion groups of Dispel-flinging brownies lead by their queen, a Curse-spewing, Strain-drinking hag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/13/2018 at 6:38 AM, Dragonshadow said:

I think the show fell into a bit of a trap with Magic.  On the one hand, all the hosts and guest commended the system for having an incredibly open magic system.  Then, immediately upon latching onto the Wall of Fire example that often comes up, one host lamented that people need to stop trying to duplicate D&D spells, and if a group tries to add spell types to round out their vision of magic, they're likely doing so because they don't fully understand the system.

But folks aren't really asking how they can duplicate d20.  They're asking how their character can cast wall of fire because wall of fire is pretty damned useful and fairly widespread across fantasy setting sources.  So is Teleport, etc.  And there is nothing obvious in the rules as written to advise you how to handle either.  That's not a strength of the rules; that's ambiguity.  It would have been much appeciated to have a section for how to gauge difficulty if the caster is using a standard magic trope and there's no obvious way to model it.

But instead, when the suggestion is made that a divine caster can banish a summoned demon, the discussion turned quickly to the pedantic "divine casters can't dispel" so we're left figuring out a creative workaround, and we're cautioned against allowing exceptions because the system's balanced best as is or it makes one spell skill too strong.

Another example of useful is being able to heal yourself if you're a magic healer.  To me this was so obvious that PC's would do this, that I didn't even consider the point of distinction that one of the hosts mentioned: by the book, it seems that you can't actually heal yourself at all, but rather only another target with whom you're engaged.  So are we supposed to disregard probably every other RPG that features magic healing that (as far as I know) doesn't penalize self-casting, or do we actually read the rules as written to indicate that a healing spell works how it works inclusive of the caster?  Or do we treat magic self-heals as being as difficult as self-surgery so the difficulty jumps two steps (and therefore the chance to fail or at least get negligible success becomes very real).  In the end, the rules could certainly be clearer. 

Magic causes far more discussion on this board than any other aspect of the game.  I think the fact that FFG attempted a liberating sort of open-ended magic on the one hand, similar to how an even less crunchy system like FATE would do it (magic is generally very wide open there) and on the other tried to provide some quantification for discrete spell effects, we're left with a system that isn't quite sure if it wants to be crunchy or if it wants to be open.

Full disclosure: I really like the magic system and its interaction with the narrative dice.  I'll use it largely as is, but my plan is to keep things a bit faster and looser than RAW if it seems that what the caster is attempting is something that type of magic should be able to do traditionally, regardless of whether or not that skill has that type.

We will include this in one of the next episodes as you make a good point.

Edited by GM Hooly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are all very good points in fact. As for playtesting the Magic Rules:

GM Chris was involved in the playtesting of the product and has run many games of Harry Potter during Gamer Nation Con as well as playtesting the game and System he wrote.

GM Hooly (me) has used the Magic system several times and I’m pretty experienced generally with understanding game balance and design.

GM Flano is our Magic expert having designed the Magic system for Nights Edge.

GM Huzz has a lot of game design experience but has limited exposure to Magic.

GM Kat has the least amount of experience with Magic in GeneSys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...